Up-and-comers join forces to revamp Boys and Girls Clubs fundraiser

February 07, 2014  |  Chris Powell  |  Comments

This story was updated @ 10:27 on Feb. 10, 2014

30 Under Thirty alumni team up on promotion and rebranding

Pascal Dessureault has a cold. But not even a stuffy nose can dampen his enthusiasm for a new pro bono project he’s working on alongside some of the industry’s best young thinkers.

Pascal Dessureault

A collective of young marketing and media professionals (who all happen to be on Marketing’s 2013 30 Under Thirty list) recently joined together to work on rebranding and better promoting the Boys and Girls Clubs of Canada’s annual fundraiser, the Capital One Race for Kids.

Dessureault, manager of corporate and public affairs for TD Bank Group in Toronto, is heading the five-person advisory committee, which includes his fellow 30 Under Thirty members Andrew Archer, Kofi Gyekye, Lauren O’Neil , Shelby Walsh and Sarena Ally.

The group is overseeing both the short and long-term development of the annual fundraising event, which takes place May 31 in 25 communities across the country. The group has already visited its first Boys and Girls Club and had its first brainstorming session.

The Race for Kids event has “tremendous potential for growth,” and considerable untapped opportunity that can be addressed by enhanced communications and marketing, Dessureault told Marketing.

The collective’s objective is to rebrand the event and to promote it to adults 25-54. Dessureault said that the group is considering several options. “At this point all options are on the table,” he said. “We’re still in the early stages, and like any good marketers we want to leave the door as open as possible to all options.”

“I belong to a generation that strongly believes in social impact,” Dessureault said. “And I know that many people involved in the ‘Under 30′ program were either working in, or had worked with, social enterprises in the past. I strongly believe in giving back to the community and making sure that we can create shared values in society.”

Dessurealt had previously worked with Mathieu Chantelois, national director of marketing and communications for the Boys and Girls Clubs of Canada, and in the wake of the former being named to the 30 Under 30, the two discussed a potential revamp of the Race for Kids event. The pair assessed the skill sets of his fellow 30 Under 30 members (a group he says has as an opportunity to apply its collective knowledge and experience to a cause) and approached several nominees to determine their availability.

Dessurealt conceded it might be too ambitious to complete the work in time for this year’s event, but said that the goal is to increase participation among the 25-40 target this year, with the revamp completed in time for the 2015 edition.

Update: The original version of this story stated that the rebranding may include a potential name change for the event. This was based on inaccurate information provided to MarketingMag.ca

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